How can I help my parents to understand this is not a phase, this is just who I am?
Last Updated: 09/03/2019 at 10:34pm
Jackie Dross, M.S. Community Counseling
I have a passion for working with people from a non-judgmental, strengths based approach to meet their goals for personal growth.
Top Rated Answers
I know sometimes it is hard to get parents to listen. One thing I personally found helpfully was honesty. Honesty can be hard, maybe you feel you will hurt them or disappoint. But it will make them see how much you are giving them your trust. Trust is important for both parent and child.
Some parents may not like what you become. I was a little more alternative/emo/scene and i like rock music but my mom hated it. Even though she doesnt like it i let her know that im still the same me and that this is who i am. And i cant change that for anybody. I have to be myself and not pretend to be someone im not so by doing that i will show my true colors!
Having a deep, one-on-one conversation may help a little bit. Most emotions are blamed on puberty, but sometimes, raging hormones aren't what cause this. What's important is that your parents understand you're not faking any of this and that you're actually experiencing real-world emotions, because if they don't recognise that, you can get seriously hurt. I hope this helped!
Time. For me, time is the only thing that helped me when I was in this situation. I knew when I came out to my mother she was going to hope and assume that it was just a phase. That is why it took me so long to tell her and she is still adjusting to the fact that her daughter is gay. Good luck. :)
Parents can have such differing reactions. A lot of it is that they are worried about you and their reactions come from a place of caring. So much can happen with a little time. If they reacted differently from how you expected them to or wanted them to, be a little patient. Things won't change overnight. With time, they will see it's not "just a phase". They are wanting what is best for you. Take care of yourself by surrounding yourself with people who support you for who you are.
If they do not believe your word alone, you can try to bring up proofs of what you say, like people's testimony and real-life stories, any scientific article you can find about the innateness of sexual orientation and the impossibility to alter it... whatever helps to make them realize that this is not something you are making up, and that they can't be blind to what has been proven to be a truth.
Your parents, like any older generation, are more likely to find it hard to understand things that are common in younger generations. Time and talking often help. Giving them time to think about everything you've said, and answering and asking questions about it can help both of you.
Try to explain to them in detail about how you feel, and what makes you feel that way, enlighten them with information and try to help them understand because parents sometimes have a hard time understanding why their child is reacting the way they are so they try to conclude it and justify it by saying it's a phase. You don't have to prove yourself to them, but having their support is critical, especially to a child, so try to show them, teach them, because no matter how old you get you'll keep learning.
Sometimes it's hard for parents to see their kids as unique people with their own likes and dislikes. It may take time, be patient. And try to understand that this is new to them too.
Something I tried to do with my parents is keeping an open dialogue with them and being patient. I made sure they knew they could ask me any questions anytime. It takes time for them to understand and get used to it, but if they love you, they will make an effort. Telling them you've felt this way for a long time, or at a young age, might help them see that it's been consistently a part of you. The way I put it to my parents, some people like chocolate, some people don't. It's all a matter of preference. I used this particular analogy because having different preferences isn't a big deal—it's normal, common, and a familiar concept.
Tell them that you loves they, you haven't choose your sexual attraction, but chooses to follow your heart and will be happy if they stay with you.
No parents would truly understand is it just a phase in your life or who you are, sometimes not even ourselves can fully differentiate between these two. However, you don't need any justifications to be living your authentic self. Its your life, not your parents or anyone else. But to take note that you can live your life however you want on the basis of not harming anyone in the process of doing so.
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